Newly-released audio of Sam Bankman-Fried reflecting on life in prison emerges on social media
Reporter Tiffany Fong shared one of her pretrial interviews with SBF on X in which the founder confronts serious questions about his future.
Newly-released audio of an interview with Sam Bankman-Fried given during his house arrest, in which he reflects on the idea of life in prison, has emerged on social media.
In the interview, Bankman-Fried admits that if his life were to end that day, he would have “done net harm to the world.”
Weight of harm done
In the interview, which took place before his trial began, Fong begins asking, “If you hypothetically were in prison for life—” before being cut short by Bankman-Fried: “I’m trying not to think about it. I don’t think it’s helpful to think about.”
The disgraced founder did, however, admit to feelings of guilt and culpability. He told Fong:
“It doesn’t weigh on me that people think I’ve done that harm. The fact that I have done that harm weighs enormously on me.”
He said that when he did consider the prospect of spending his life in prison, he consciously attempted to steer his thoughts toward hypothetical “ways to make things better” that might present themselves.
Soon after, however, he begins to trail off of each sentence he begins, leaving most of them unfinished.
A tale of mismanagement and deceit
The former billionaire’s trial spanned almost five weeks, but he was convicted on all seven counts of fraud and money laundering-related charges on Nov. 2 by a jury of his peers in less than five hours.
The former billionaire is facing more than 100 years in prison for his role in stealing roughly $8 billion worth of FTX customer funds and spending it on reckless investments, political donations, and personal expenses.
SBF’s trial unveiled the full extent of mismanagement at FTX and its sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, which had special privileges to borrow an unlimited amount of money from the exchange.
The prosecution brought some of SBF’s closest confidantes — including former girlfriend Caroline Ellison and his close friend Nishad Singh, both of whom served in leadership roles at the companies — to the stand to testify against him and admit to committing fraud against FTX customers and investors.